Going back as little as thirty years in American news history, road rage appeared in news reports less than a handful of times; the term ‘road rage’ wasn’t even created until the late 80s. Road rage is the act of being aggressive or irate while operating a vehicle. By the late 90s, over 4,000 stories of road rage received media coverage yearly. Today, over 13,000 cases of road rage are reported every year, that doesn’t even begin to account for the number of people who decided not to report an incident.
Road Rage in America:
The question is, how has this problem escalated to this point over the last three decades? Could it be more cars being driven – or perhaps it’s because the atmosphere in this country has people more stressed? It’s possible that it’s a combination of more drivers on the road and more ticking time bombs – it’s hard to pinpoint which, but looking at data on the subject, it definitely has a lot to do with human behavior.
According to a study done on national driving habits…..
Ø Half of motorists will respond to aggressive driving and behavior with aggression themselves
Ø A person using a cell phone is more likely to respond to incidents with rage
Ø Men are more likely to engage in road rage behaviors than women
Ø People under 24 are 2xs more likely to be involved in road rage than other age groups
Ø Drivers with children in the car are more likely to react with aggression – which is probably the most shocking and startling habit of them all
How Road Rage is Expressed:
Road rage is usually identified by the actions of the driver acting irrationally on the road. Below are some of the most common ways an extremely aggressive driver takes dangerous action.
· Breaking Abruptly
· Accelerating Suddenly
· Using Vehicle as a Barrier
· Cutting Off other drivers
· Honking Without Cause
· Chasing Drivers
· Making Obscene Hand and Verbal Gestures
· Getting Out of their Vehicle to Threaten
In more extreme cases, road rage may lead to actions like:
· Causing Other Vehicles to Collide
· Using Own Vehicle to Hit Another Vehicle or Person
· Striking Others with Weapons or Using a Firearm
Avoiding Road Rage
You can’t control someone else’s emotions but you can take steps to avoid provoking unstable drivers on the road – road rage is almost always a two-way path. The actual triggers for road rage incidents are varied; triggers include accidents, not using signals properly, pulling out in front of another vehicle, or even just giving another driver a dirty look.
To avoid a potentially deadly and violent situation, simply do not engage the enraged driver; most incidents involve two people who are angry – the first one who triggered the incident and the second one responded inappropriately.
If you have done something, which may be seen as aggressive or rude behavior by another driver; simply smile and wave and let them go about their day. Even if you don’t feel as though you’ve wronged them, just be passive if you notice someone giving you negative attention on the road, there’s simply too much at stake to let your ego get the better of you. If you can’t shake the person, call the police for help and head towards the police station but do not get out of your car or try to enlist help from other motorists, this is when things can escalate rapidly.
Have you dealt with an enraged driver? How did you handle the situation?
Andrew Miller is an experienced Social Media expert and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.